By the President of the United States of America
America's strength is in the heart of its people and the richness of its cultural diversity.
Those who have come from Asian and Pacific countries have long added a special quality to our American mosaic. In spite of adversity, in spite of violence inflicted on their peoples and cultures, Asian and Pacific Americans have shed sweat and blood in the struggle for America's nationhood and in the quest for freedom and opportunity. Out of all proportion to their numbers, Asian and Pacific Americans have contributed to our Nation's progress in a wide range of fields?science, the arts, literature, agriculture, industry and commerce. Bringing with them the strong and varied traditions of their Asian and Pacific homelands?China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, the Pacific Islands, and Southeast Asia?they have greatly enriched our cultural heritage and institutions.
As we welcome new groups of Asian and Pacific peoples to our shores, our hearts are saddened by the suffering that has caused many of them to leave their homelands, but we are proud to be able to offer them freedom and hope and opportunity in America.
As we work together to help them make the difficult adjustments to a new land and new lives, we are deeply aware of our debt to the generations of Asian and Pacific Americans who have come before them. We are grateful for their presence and glad for the opportunity to continue our tradition as a land of immigrants, people who have come from every corner of the earth, united by a common commitment to human rights and human liberty.
Now, Therefore, I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States of America, declare the seven days beginning May 7, 1980, as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourth.